The new look to the BBC’s main news programmes comes not a moment too soon.
It is clean, stylish and provides a greater degree of flexibility. It is particularly useful that the presenter can now interact properly with the graphics.
Yet it is evolution not revolution – the titles and astons are unchanged subliminally reinforcing familiarity.
Changes to news programmes should never be judged too quickly though.
Inevitably some people will be impressed by the mere fact a familiar piece of the furniture has been freshened up – or simply take an instant dislike to change.
It’s actually worth waiting a few weeks until the new look settles in before passing full judgement.
But there is one fundamental reason why the new look should be welcomed.
Since 2013, the Six and Ten have looked exactly like the bulletins on the News Channel. This can inadvertently give the impression that all BBC News is merely a constant commodity on tap 24/7.
Instead the main programmes should be landmarks – showcases for the best journalism and opportunities to take a more considered approach to the day’s stories.
They may be part of the same family but a distinct visual look is a reminder that they should be appointments to view – special programmes with particular characteristics, invitations for those who only watch the news once a day to feel that these are important places to catch up.
As I said, superficial impressions aside it is wrong to rush to judgement. Let’s see how the new set is used for a variety of different kinds of stories.
There can always be the risk of overusing new toys rather than thinking about how the extra flexibility can positively add value.
I’m not convinced the round up of short stories really needs a musical bed – they are not the headlines or “coming up” promos. More seriously, they can be a distraction or add to problems for those with hearing difficulties.
Editorially the only significant change is that the weather is now presented from the studio and part of the programme – not a separate item after the regional news.
And, lastly, special praise for the hand to the regions. It’s a fan’s dream but it also reinforces the link between network and the teams in the nations and regions.
Not so long ago the Ten was reduced in length to help accommodate BBC Three on BBC One. The new set and format restores it to its proper glory.
PICTURED: new-look BBC News Studio B. COPYRIGHT: BBC.